Willie Allan was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his service to youth rugby and charity.
The 56-year-old former PE teacher re-established rugby at Buckhaven High School in Fife with the formation of the Buckhaven Sharks and the Sharkettes, working tirelessly to bring in sponsorships, set up fixtures and organise tours for a growing number of teams over a number of years.
Willie, a well-known after dinner speaker, loved his time at Buckhaven before retiring last year.
He said: “I was totally floored by the news of the MBE, but couldn’t be more delighted. Over the years, as a school teacher and as an after dinner speaker, I have made a lot of good friends who have supported me in my efforts to build a little bit of rugby history at Buckhaven High School. They are all legends – just as the kids who made me extremely proud to be their coach. I can’t thank them enough.
“Without the Rector and the rest of the staff backing my ideas up with support and great teaching then we could not have had the sporting success we had. And, of course, the pupils were brilliant and really bought into everything I tried to do over the years.”
When he arrived at Buckhaven, football was the sport of the majority, while some of the pupils did not seem to engage in sport at all.
He set about changing this for the better and wanted to offer more sports. Out of this came the Buckhaven Sharks rugby team while gymnastics, basketball and netball were also introduced and football continued to grow.
“From my own experiences I knew that rugby was a good sport to instil certain standards and build up a good team spirit and the teams did really well over the years, now competing against many of the top schools,” he explained.
“I have always encouraged all to play sports, no matter what standard the pupils are at, and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing kids out there running about at lunchtimes and after school as well as representing their school at various events.”
Willie was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Dunfermline. He was educated at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline and the Scottish School of Physical Education, Glasgow.
He was a PE teacher for 32 years and he became Principal Teacher of PE at Buckhaven, a position he held for 22 years.
A keen sportsman, Willie spent 13 seasons as a stand-off with Dunfermline. He has also represented the North and Midlands.
A committed but totally useless golfer, he is a member of Lundin Golf Club and The Royal Burgess Golfing Society and has been on the after dinner speaking circuit since 1992.
His main influences have been his father and grandfather and he is an ambassador for SkillForce and a Trustee of The Shoot Charitable Trust.
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